Alabama bounced back nicely from the buzzer beater loss at home to Texas A&M with a 10 point road win over Mizzou to get back to .500 in conference play.
Dan Giddens did not make the trip due to "family reasons." I hope all is well with Dan and his family, but I have heard rumors that a mid-season transfer may be imminent.
Both teams played fairly even for the first 10 minutes or so of the game, but Alex Reese came off the bench and gave us a spark. We took advantage of a 6 minute Mizzou scoring drought to build a nice lead that we were able to maintain for the rest of the game. I thought the team did a great job of keeping their composure on the road. Every time Mizzou made a run we had an answer, and they never got it back to within real striking distance.
Donta was a beast again. He had another double-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and a couple of blocked shots. He's really playing well right now, and has diversified his game. It's not all dunks on offensive rebounds anymore.
AJ came off the bench and was the leading scorer with 14 points! I've been critical of his playing time, and I still think he dribbles too much, but on this night a lot of the crazy shots he was putting up were going in. He's seemingly perfected the off-balance, high off the glass bank shot in traffic. In all seriousness, he had a great game and was a huge part of why we were able to comfortably win.
Kira was off by his standards but still finished with 9 points and had one of the biggest 3s of the game to push the 6 point lead back to 9 down the stretch. Dazon also had 9 and more importantly did not turn the ball over, though he was a bit sloppy with it at times. The team only had 10 turnovers and remarkably made 12 of 15 from the free throw line. More of that, please.
Overall it was a solid, badly needed road win with great contributions all the way around.
Up next, we continue our road trip by visiting the number one ranked team in the country Saturday. Tip-off against the Tennessee Vols is set for 2 pm EST in Knoxville. The game is a hard sell out and will be broadcast on ESPN2. I may be nuts, but I think we actually match up with them reasonably well and have a chance to keep it close, and possibly even pull off the upset. I am making the trip and will post a first hand account when I return.